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Sunday, April 22, 2012

King's Bounty: The Legend

My Rating: 8.5/10 User Rating: 4.5/5

For some unexplained reason even though I never once read anything about this game, I've wanted to try it, knowing absolutely nothing about it. Then the 1C pack went on sale on Gamers Gate and I thought why not.

The very first thing this game reminded me of was old Turn Based RPG/Strategy games (Heroes of Might and Magic, Disciples, Age of Wonders) but without the Strategy. Your hero is merely a commander, in battle he can cast spells and it is from the prospective that you are commanding troops through your hero, but he has no actual battlefield presence.

 Basically you go around completing quests, fighting monsters, getting items, and leveling up your hero. When your hero levels up you get runes which are used to unlock abilities in the three ability trees (is three ability trees what every game uses nowadays?) and you get to choose one of two of your heroes stats to upgrade. (there are more than two, the game just gives you two options to choose from).

As far as your troops go, you can only command a maximum of 5 unit types, your leadership stat will limit how many units you can have total for each of the 5 slots. You can split troops, but the leadership limit is global. If you have a group of 20 archers, and 20 archers is your max, you can split it into two groups of 10, but you cannot have two groups of 20. Your troops morale is based on what kind of troops you have in your army...My archers had very poor morale because they were pissy because I had undead and robbers in my party (yet for some reason the priests didn't seem to care about the undead).

Battle is fairly easy to understand. Turn order is determined by invisible initiative rolls, which I'm assuming work like D&D (base initiative + roll determines turn order) considering that there are ways via spells to increase initiative. Each unit has their own turn, to move and/or attack or use special moves, when it is one of your unit's turns, you get a chance to cast a spell once per round. Spells can be cast from scrolls or from your spellbook, but in order to have a spell in your spellbook you need to learn it first (to do this you need to have the corresponding magic skill, order, distortion or chaos, and enough magic crystals to learn the spell). Scrolls are used up once cast, but spells from your spellbook use your heroes mana. (if you do a lot of spellcasting it's always good to use both scrolls and the spellbook, especially if you get the later perk that lets you use your spellbook twice in one round).

There are some items in the game that are upgradeable, and the way the game goes about it is pretty interesting. If you choose to upgrade an item you will have to battle the items "keepers" to unlock it's new abilities. The battle difficulty depends on how good the upgrade will be, the main flaw being you can run into a battle you cannot possibly win without even knowing it. The main thing that's different about these battles is not only are you facing enemy troops but you are facing gremlins as well, usually about 3-4 of them. There are two kinds of gremlins, ones that cast support spells on their allies (your enemies) and ones that cast destructive spells on your units.

The major problem for me is the main quests (I'm running on the assumption that the quests the king gives you are main quests) feel like the rest of the quests in the game, even if their goal was to make a non-linear game, the main quests should feel important. I've only done one quest for the king, I've felt more engaged with some of the side quests than the king's quests, which makes me question as to whether there really are any MAIN quests in the game or not.

All in all I've been having fun with this game and I would recommend it to anyone who liked the RPG turn based strategy games or any RPG gamer that is looking for something different.

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